Legal Aspect of Online Gambling in Canada
Until 2009 gambling games websites were prohibited in Canada, but that didn't stop Canadians from playing at various offshore online casinos. Criminal Code of Canada doesn't state that gambling games is illegal activity. At this time any province in Canada can allow, license and regulate its own gambling games websites. Kahnawake Gaming Commission (Canada) is another online casino regulator in the country that is also managing casino servers. This commission is one of the most preferable online casino regulators in other parts of the world as well.
Based on results of the survey conducted by Ipsos Reid in 2010, it was concluded that almost 77% of Canadian respondents consider online gambling games legal, while 55% of Canadians support the idea that gambling games can be allowed, but should be regulated by state laws.
In July 2010, British Columbia with the help of British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) became the first Canadian province which gave access to online casinos to its population. At the beginning of 2011, British Columbia launched online poker and now also plans to introduce mobile casino games.
In December 2010 Loto-Quebec resource launched online poker and casino games for its population, while in January 2013 online gambling in Manitoba, in particular poker and other casino games, became regulated. BCLC, Loto-Quebec and Manitoba Lotteries joined Canadian poker network, which is the first regulated poker network in North America. That allows casino players living in that provinces play at the same online casino tables.
From August 2004, Atlantic Lottery runs its online gambling website (www.alc.ca) that offers various gambling games to citizens of Atlantic Canada and Nova Scotia who are older than 19.
Young people usually make bigger bets while playing gambling games. In the report provided by Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC 2005) gambling was allowed for young people in Alberta. The 2002 review of experience of young people in Alberta stated that earlier researches of 7th-12th grade students in 8 Canadian provinces showed that for the last 12 months just 41% of young people in Alberta and 78% in Manitoba played gambling games.
Young casino players also like to place higher online casino bets than adults. Based on the results of the research conducted in 2007 on popularity of gambling games among people of average age in Nova Scotia, it was concluded that just 1.6% of the population in this province played online casino games. Another research was conducted by Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation (2006, "Decoding risk gambling attitudes and behaviours amongst youth in Nova Scotia"). It showed that people in their young age tried playing online gambling games for real or virtual money. The proportions are the following: 19% - aged 15-17; 15% - aged from 18 and 12% - aged 19-20. The research also showed that majority of respondents (67%) feel neutral or slightly positive about gambling games as a form of leisure activity, 76% think that gambling games are harmless, and 54% think casino games will do no harm to anyone.
Up to this day no one has been convicted of playing online casino games. Therefore that unlikely will cause problems with law. If you aren't sure whether particular online casino is legal or not, you'll have to do a little bit of research. But even if there's a certain law that says that particular casino website is prohibited in your region, take into consideration the fact that majority of those casinos work abroad. Blocking all casino websites is impossible task if there's no structured law.